Entries open for 2024 Bus Driver of the Year competition

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2023 Bus Driver of the Year overall winner Lee Grantham (centre) with last year’s winners after the awards ceremony in Blackpool. BDoY

The annual search for the UK’s top bus driver has started again with the invitation for operators to participate in the national final of the annual Bus Driver of the Year (BDoY) competition. And with preparations underway for this year’s competition, BDoY organisers have also welcomed Gerallt Evans to the team, who joins as a director.

Entry for the national final is now open, with bus operators invited to register online via the organisation’s website at bdoy.co.uk. At this stage, the organisers say companies need only decide the number of drivers they wish to enter, and will be asked to pay the entry fee. They will then receive an information pack to enable them to proceed with the selection of their best drivers.

Having recovered strongly in 2022, and again in 2023, after the hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, BDoY says that companies are urged not to delay in submitting their applications, which must in any event be received no later than mid-May, to ensure they can take part. BDoY seeks to reward full-time drivers who exercise their skills throughout the year, and it is a requirement for entry that a driver works at least three full shifts per week to qualify for the competition.

BDoY Chairman Joe Mackie said: “I am overwhelmed that despite the challenges still facing bus companies the support for our UK BDoY competition has continued to grow. Last year we were at capacity, 119 entrants. Some were hoping to regain the top spot, others with the objective of doing better than previously and all hoping to win the coveted title.”

The national final, which enables drivers to display their skills while affording them the chance to win significant prizes and claim the title of ‘UK Bus Driver of the Year,’ was won last year by Lee Grantham of National Express West Midlands.

Meanwhile, Gerallt Evans, who retired as Traffic Commissioner for the North West of England on 31 January, has stepped in as director to replace Chris Heaps, another former Traffic Commissioner, who served on the BDoY board since 2007.

Gerallt said: “During my four years as Traffic Commissioner, and previously with the Crown Prosecution Service, I have been acutely aware of road safety and the importance of encouraging high standards among professional drivers. I am, therefore, more than happy to support BDoY in its aims, while it is a happy coincidence that the National Final is held in the North West region.”

The National Final takes place in Blackpool on 1 September, headquartered again at the Imperial Hotel.